Numbers 344. Report of Lieutenant Colonel E. P. Tayloe, Twenty-second Virginia Battalion.
MAY 13, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to make the subjoined report of the part taken by the Twenty-second Virginia Battalion in the battle of Chancellorsville:
Marching from Hamilton's Crossing on Friday, May 1, 1863, we arrived about 7 p.m. of the same day in front of Chancellorsville. The enemy had been attacked, perhaps as early as noon, by the advance guard of our army near Salem Church, but finding it neither politic nor prudent to give battle in the position them held by them, faced about and retired rapidly to their strongholds, where, for the remainder of that day, there was only light skirmishing. When we reached our position that evening, the operations of the day seemed almost or quite ended, and we were merely drawn up in line of battle, prepared to support the front line should a night attack be made by the enemy.
The next morning (May 2), we were moved from the Plank road, and formed line of battle some three-fourths of a mile to the right of it. In this position we remained but a short time, for in view of the tangled brushwood, and the deep,miry, marshy creek intervening between us and the enemy's works, the commanding general probably deemed that an unnecessary slaughter of his troops would accrue from an attempt to carry those works by an attack from that direction alone, and accordingly determined to turn their right flank. To the accomplishment of this end, Jackson's corps (to which the Twenty-second Virginia Battalion was attached) was put in motion about 10 a.m. of that day (May 2), and, leaving the Plank road to the right,marched around the road leading by the old furnace; after passing which a few miles, we bore more to the right, and, after having completed nearly a semicircle, again struck the Plank road about 3 1/2 to 4 miles west of Chancellorsville. Marching on toward the last-mentioned place, our advance guard soon fell upon the Yankees, who were evidently not expecting us from that direction, and who were routed with comparatively little difficulty. The enemy retreated precipitately to Chancellorsville and from that point shelled our advancing lines with some effect. The Twenty-second Battalion during this advance sustained some inconsiderable loss.
When we came out upon the Plank road again, about a mile from Chancellorsville, some confusion occurred, owing to the uncertainty as to the exact position of the enemy, and several times, from 8 to 12 o'clock that night, we were exposed to a terrific fire of shell, grape, and solid shot, and also a cross-fire of musketry. About 12 o'clock on the night of the 2nd, our brigade was led a short distance to the rear, to rest the remainder of the night.
About dawn on the 3rd, we were again carried to the front. The Fortieth and Forty-seventh Virginia Regiments of our brigade were drawn up in line of battle to the right of the Plank road, and the Fifty-fifth [Virginia] and Twenty-second Battalion to the left of the same road. The road at this point being more elevated than the ground on either side, and being fully exposed to the enemy's artillery, rendered it necessary that the two partss of the brigade thus designated be separated by a considerable interval and be out of view of each other. It was decided that orders be passed from right to left. The Fifty-fifth Virginia Regiment occupied the position next to the road, the Twenty-second Battalion the extreme left.
About 9 a.m., pershaps, orders were received to advance upon the